Cape Authorities to Charge One Man in Five Unsolved Homicides
By: Kathy Sweeney
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - Authorities in Cape Girardeau County are set to make a stunning announcement today in connection with five unsolved homicides dating back to the late 1970's and early 1980's. At a news conference planned for 2:00 this afternoon, they will announce charges against a single suspect in connection with all five deaths. The announcement will be made by Cape Girardeau Police Chief Carl Kinnison and Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle. Kinnison and Swingle will be joined by members of various agencies including their own who helped make the announcement possible.
The five unsolved homicides date back to August of 1977. That's when a neighbor found the bodies of 58-year-old Mary Parsh and her 27-year-old daughter, Brenda. Both women had been shot to death in Mrs. Parsh's home at 612 Koch Street. Investigators believe the suspect waited inside the Parsh home and attacked the mother and daughter as soon as they walked inside.
Three months later, a passing motorist found the body of 21-year-old Cape Girardeau college student Sheila Cole at a rest area along Route 3 in Alexander County. Police say Cole had been abducted November 16, 1977 from the parking lot of the Cape Girardeau Wal-Mart on South Kingshighway. Ms. Cole had also been shot in the head. Evidence suggested the bullets that killed Sheila Cole probably came from the same gun used to kill Mary and Brenda Parsh.
Five years passed before a second wave of killings shocked the city. In January of 1982, a family member found the body of 57-year-old Margie Call. Mrs. Call had been strangled inside her home at 1829 Brink, just blocks away from the Parsh home. And like the Parsh's, investigators say Mrs. Call's killer waited inside her home for her.
Five months after the Call homicide, a family member found the body of 65-year-old Mildred Wallace inside her home at 1218 William. Ms. Wallace had been shot to death. According to police, there seemed to be a connection between Wallace's killing on June 20, 1982 and the Call case. In 2003, investigators collected DNA samples from three suspects to compare to the Call and Wallace cases. Nearly a year later, they announced they did not have a match.